Institutional Report

FHSU is a state, tax-assisted, liberal and applied arts university, established and maintained to serve the people of Kansas. The campus is located in Hays which is in the western portion of the state and is largely rural. As the economy and population of the Great Plains, western Kansas, and particularly that of 19 northwestern Kansas counties, experience challenges, the university and this college have begun working diligently and collaboratively to develop plans to preserve the future of small schools and communities in the service area. Kansas census data from 2008 demonstrates 88.7% white citizenry, and specifically FHSU’s service area demographics demonstrates 98 percent white citizenry, except for the 14 counties of southwestern Kansas that has a 27.5 percent Hispanic population. Additionally, 12% of all Kansas families with school-age children live in poverty. These FHSU service area demographics create unique challenges.

The education unit fully accepts and embraces the responsibility to educate candidates about the concept of diversity and its unique application to the profession of education, in spite of demographic constraints and the impact they have on diversity within the college. In recent years, the university and unit have become more successful in recruiting, admitting, and retaining a diverse student body due in part to changing demographics in the student population. Online programs have greatly increased the diversity of our candidates.
 
FHSU, initially known as the Hays Normal School, was established June 23, 1902, to satisfy a need to create advanced educational facilities in the new region to serve a swiftly growing population of settlers. Prior to the opening of the university, Fort Hays Military Reservation land was slated to be abandoned by the United States government; the idea was conceived to transfer the fort to a university for educational purposes. The Kansas Board of Regents granted the institution the right to confer liberal arts degrees in 1930. There is a long history of focus on teacher preparation at FHSU - in 1910, the first four-year bachelor degree in education was approved.